Retired Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling said Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE's attacks against the former Navy SEAL who oversaw the operation that killed Osama bin Laden were "disgusting."

“I’d use one word, and that’s 'disgusting,'" Hertling said on CNN when asked about his reaction to Trump's criticism of retired Adm. William McRaven. 

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"You know everyone knows Bill McRaven as being the guy that led the bin Laden raid. I know him as the guy, as the joint special operations commander in Iraq, and there were multiple missions where this guy placed himself in danger, led soldiers in some of the most challenging situations you can imagine."

Hertling, who served with McRaven in Europe and Iraq, added that to have someone "that holds an office that’s supposed to represent all people and who says he supports the military, to just dismiss this great American hero as a guy who was a Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonRoger Stone shares, quickly deletes Instagram photo of federal judge on his case Barack, Michelle Obama expected to refrain from endorsing in 2020 Dem primary: report Why the national emergency? A second term may be Trump’s only shield from an indictment MORE lover, which is patently not true, is just really disgusting."

Trump dismissed McCraven as a "Hillary Clinton fan" and an "Obama-backer" in an interview with Fox News anchor Chris Wallace that aired on Sunday. In addition, Trump wondered why it took so long for the U.S. to find bin Laden, who was killed by SEALs in a 2011 operation in Pakistan.

"Wouldn’t it have been nice if we got Osama bin Laden a lot sooner than that, wouldn’t it have been nice?" he asked. 

McRaven responded shortly after by doubling down on his previous criticism of the president, saying that Trump's attack on the media presents "the greatest threat to our democracy in my lifetime."

"When you undermine the people's right to a free press and freedom of speech and expression, then you threaten the Constitution and all for which it stands," he continued, adding that he did not support a presidential candidate in the 2016 election. 

McRaven hasn't shied away from voicing criticism of the Trump administration. In August, he called the White House's decision to revoke former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE's security clearance "McCarthy-era tactics."